Noted Pennsylvania State tax expert and agency director Suzanne Leighton has joined the team at HBK CPAs & Consultants as a Senior Manager in the firm's Tax Advisory Group (TAG). She brings unparalleled expertise in Pennsylvania State taxes, in particular as they relate to partnerships, S corps and sole proprietorships.
“Her knowledge will be an extremely valuable asset to our advisors and the owners and operators of small and mid-size companies doing business in Pennsylvania as they navigate the complex nuances of the State’s tax code,” noted HBK CEO and Managing Principal Christopher Allegretti.
“When people are tax planning, they often miss the ramifications of state taxation,” Leighton noted. “In Pennsylvania, the rules do not mimic federal tax codes. You have to understand the federal rules on partnerships and what does and does not flow through to the Pennsylvania law.”
Leighton earned her accounting degree at the University of Maryland and her masters in taxation from Villanova. She spent the first half of her career in public accounting with PwC, initially in the firm’s Harrisburg office, then in Moscow, Russia, for a year, and upon her return with PwC’s Washington National Tax Group specializing in executive compensation. She then worked at a regional accounting firm where she focused on partnership taxation before moving to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as director of its pass-through business office. From 2004 to 2015 she oversaw the agency’s activities relative to partnerships, S corporations, estates and trusts where she became the agency’s first expert in small business entity level returns. As deputy secretary for compliance and collections for the Department from 2015 to 2018, she oversaw all compliance and collection activities, including criminal tax investigations.
Pennsylvania was the first state to pass legislation governing entity level assessment of S corps and partnerships – prior to the IRS enacting its statue. As Department of Revenue director, Sue proposed that legislation. She has addressed a wide variety of associations and conferences on the law, including the Federation of Tax Administrators, the Federal Bar Association and the Northeastern States Tax Officials Association.
“Sue’s expertise is relevant to the needs of many of our clients,” Allegretti said, “and demonstrates our commitment to our clients to bring them the resources of large national firm through locally operated offices.”